Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

Blessing at the Annenberg School of Nursing Graduation

(From an email sent on January 27, 2011, shortly after the Annenberg School of Nursing Class of 2011 graduation ceremony.)

Last evening I was truly honored to be present to give an opening blessing for the graduation of our 2011 class of the Annenberg School of Nursing. It was a wonderful celebration of dedication, hard work and of the Jewish Home itself, that makes it all possible.

I was reminded of a verse from Genesis, one of the first things God says to Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people.

"I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

I began to think about how this applies to the Jewish Home, how many residents of Southern California are blessed because of the work of the Home and it's many programs. The Home is open to people of all faiths to come and live safely and securely, free to grow intellectually and spiritually. We have rehabilitation facilities to help anyone needing temporary help after a hospitalization, to get back home. We are providing education in nursing skills through our CNA programs and Annenberg School of nursing to qualified applicants of any background. We serve a multitude of patients through our Skirball Hospice Program and will help even more in our community based PACE program.

I am unable to think of a more powerful ambassador of good will for the Jewish people than the Los Angeles Jewish Home. The Los Angeles Jewish community is one of the world's largest, and we have many fine Jewish institutions: schools, museums, hospitals, temples, restaurants etc. However, I believe the Home is the finest example of an institution whose prime directive is to do good, healing the sick and comforting those in pain. The Jewish Community should be proud of the work we do and we deserve to express pride in the Home for all we do.

May all people be blessed because of our never ending commitment to the beliefs and values we have treasured for all these years.

Rabbi Sheldon PennesRabbi Sheldon Pennes is the Jack H. Skirball Director of Spiritual Life at the Los Angeles Jewish Home, where he oversees the many services and activities that educate, illuminate, and enrich the spiritual life and needs of those living in, or served by, the Home.

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